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FattyDumplin's Profile

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Peking duck in the south bay

You should try beijing duck house in Cupertino next time you're up here. Impressivlely thin pancakes with nice texture and don't fall apart when filled. Duck is appropriately crispy skin with just enough fat rendered to be delicious but not too greasy. The weak link is the sauce, which I believe they make, and I wish they'd just use some prepackaged stuff. I find theirs to be too sweet.

How to prep and grill a flat iron roast

So I'm addicted to this steak and have a roast each of the last3 weekends. I've found that if you cut into 1" steaks, the tendon actually cooks nicely... Still a bit chewy but very tender. This steak is amazing. Never gets tough and great flavor.

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

you could take this in so many directions... were i to do this, i'd probably start with sashimi, only because i have tried to make and failed miserably the sushi rice. but i'd also try to do some hot dishes, like a chawan mushi, and a few rolls, futomaki, for example. But i think a lot of this would depend on what fish you have access to on that particular day.

Aug 25, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

A Four-Year-Old reviews... The French Laundry

While I would never spend the money to take my kids to TFL, I found the photo essay absolutely entertaining. I loved the kid's expressions and frankly, food gets too serious sometimes and at the end of day, its important to remember it's all a personal preference of "does it taste good?" and the photos capture the essence of that in a 4-year old's mind.

Does such meal spawn entitlement and spoil the kid? Maybe, maybe not. I've met lots of rich kids who have everything they could ever want and more, who are the most down to earth people. And I've met lots of normal kids who are little s--ts because their parents treat them like kings. So, I don't see that taking the kid to this meal necessarily sets her on a course to being some princess.

Cooking sea robin?

fair enough. i did some research after you posted the pic. fascinating stuff! thanks for sharing.

although when i first saw the pic, i thought it was gargantuan....

Aug 18, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

Cheap Beef Meals

Maybe more pricey but a cheap steak alternative... Buy a flat iron roast, and split the top and bottom steaks away from the middle sinew. Amazing steaks that cost much less than traditional cuts, ie ribeye, strop, etc., yet have great taste and texture.

Aug 18, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

Cooking sea robin?

That was my first thought as well, but I think it's just the angle and close up... If you use the fingers as scale, seems like it's not that big. I may be mistaken though as I had the same initial impression you did.

Also, that's not a sea robin, that's Jar Jar Binks!

Aug 18, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

Cheap Beef Meals

Just curious, and I actually do a lot of shopping at whole foods myself...you say you're not "willing to sacrifice... yet". What do you think you're sacrificing by going somewhere else? I've generally found that WF meats are ok. I can get better, fresher and cheaper seafood from my farmer's market (Live in Bay Area so lucky in that regard) and my local butcher has cheaper, tastier meats. So while we buy a lot of produce there, we actually do not buy as much protein due to better, cheaper sources.

Northeast China dishes - pork stew vermicelli. Chinese Name-- zhu rou dun fen tiao

This looks great! A homey stew that will be a great addition on cold winter days. Thanks for posting.

Aug 17, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

How to prep and grill a flat iron roast

Totally. Yeah, didn't mention price but that is always part of the equation... A prime flatiron roast runs $8.99 per pound with fantastic marbling. A prime ribeye from the same store runs $19.99. And the yield on the roast into usable steaks is nearly 100%!

How to prep and grill a flat iron roast

I ended up doing a hybrid... By making kabobs with the middle sinew removed. But I kept the middle section and grilled those up for myself, because I love sinew. The kabobs were a huge hit and my special pieces were right up my alley. Gotta say, flatiron may be becoming my favorite steak, given its ability to straddle tender while still retaining some chew. It's also almost impossible to over cook given the marbling.

How to prep and grill a flat iron roast

I just bought a roast, which is the top and bottom flatiron steaks connected by that middle layer of connective tissue. It's about 12" long and 4" wide. Starts about 2" thick but tapers to about 3/4" at the end. My plan is to grill these as steaks. What is the best approach?

1) grill it as is, which seems like I'm stuck with that tissue
2) separate the top and bottom steaks? Can I just sort of rip them off (like pulling the skin off of fish) or do I need to cut with a knife, which seems like I'd have a decent amount of wastage?
3) just cut the whole thing into 1" thick sections, comprised of the top and bottom steak and then a layer of sinew in the middle

I think options 2 and 3 are likely easiest to grill and yield the best result. 2) seems optimal but more difficult since I need to separate the steaks myself unless people tell me it's easy 3) seems like it would work ok but then I can't exactly slice the steaks post- cooking and present nicely since I'll have already cut the grain short.

I know, I'm way overthinking it... I usually do ny strip or ribeye. But I just had a flat iron steak in bend, Oregon and it was amazing. And price wise it can't be beat. Just want to make sure I do this cut full justice my first time cooking it!

Sand dabs

i hate cleaning fish... probably stems from the time when i was in college, went catfishing with my buddies. got home with a bag of 20 large, still alive catfish and no real idea how to prep them. Ended up bashing them with a hammer and filleting them with a dull knife and it was horrible. especially since even when dead, the nerves still connect every so often and cause movement. after that, i haven't cleaned a fish since.

Aug 15, 2014
FattyDumplin in San Diego

Sand dabs

Do you need to fillet them? I'm not an expert sand dab chef by any stretch, but I do love the taste. In the past, I've bought them whole but cleaned. You just flour and season, and pan fry them till done. Once cooked, the meat comes right off the bones. As you said, if you filleted pre-cooking, you'd have a miserable amount of meat per sanddab. Hope that helps and good luck!

Aug 15, 2014
FattyDumplin in San Diego

Recs in Bend?

We loved Bend. It was rainy this week, so we spent a lot of time walking downtown rather than doing hardcore outdoorsy stuff...

Dang's Vietnamese. This place is a gem. The food is delicate and tasty. Very high quality ingredients. Turned out the owner is from the Bay Area and moved there to get out of the rat race. We were shocked to find this place in a small town, but it's as good as anything I can find now in the Bay Area.

Deschutes Brewery and Public House. Decent enough beer and bar food. We went for lunch. For a brewery type restaurant, I thought it was a 7. Pretty good, but nothing to write home about.

Ranch House at Brasada Ranch. We ate here a few meals. Everything very well executed. Given the # of cows I saw, I have to assume steak is a specialty here and my flatiron was perfect. Tender, beefy steak that was perfectly cooked to my liking.

La Magie. We stopped by for pastries. The smell is intoxicating. Had a few croissants. I'd go back to try a meal, as some of the items seemed really interesting.

Goody's. I'm a sucker for old school ice cream / soda fountains. The ice cream is perfect texture and consistency. Not too creamy like gelato, but not icy at all. My wife and I both had the coffee ice cream with chocoloate covered expresso bits. Perfectly sweetened.

Overall, bad weather not withstanding, I loved this town and can't wait to come back. I amy wait a year or two for my youngest to hit 5+, so we can do a more active trip with fly fishign, rafting, etc.

Thanks for all the recs!

We drove back pretty standard path along the way to Mt. HOod. We did a quick stop at Timberline Lodge and it was pretty cool seeing people skiing in the end of August.

Recs in Bend?

Thanks, super helpful...

One final question. we're driving from PDX to Bend (Brasada) tomorrow and need a place somehwereh in between to stop for lunch. Any recs? I've seen TImberline Lodge and Ice Ace Grill, but open to other ideas.

Thanks!

Sno-crave Desserts and Hot Pot (Cupertino)

Two of my favorite things in the world. How could this go wrong?

First time, all we had was dessert, and tried the mango snow ice. It was decent enough, but pretty pricy relative to the competition. I did like the ambiance, although a bit loud on the music. Overall, maybe I'd go back with friends, but wouldn't go out of my way.

Second time, we went for hot pot. Whereas most hot pot places are either true Chinese hot pot, a la Little Fat Sheep, or the mini pot, where you get an individual burner, pot and meat tray / veggie bowl, this place does neither. The pot comes with everything added and the end result is poor... since its a pre-done pot, everything (veggies and meat) is pretty skimpy portions. For example, I basically had 5 - 6 slices of lamb, versus most places bring out a tray with 10+ slices of meat. Veggies were paltry also. And perhaps worst of all, the noodles, since they are pre-added, become way overcooked. We tried the Spicy pot, which was actually good, and the Herbal pot, which had no herb-iness at all. To summarize, this wasn't hotpot. This was a $13 bowl of glorified soup noodles with a blah soup base, small portions and gummy noodles...

Service is friendly enough, if not a bit incompetent. Also, as I've noticed with these tea houses that serve food, it seems like speed / efficiency is a real issue. Our food took forever. Same thing happened at Tea Station recently, where it turned out they had one poor guy in back cooking for a full restaurant.

So yeah, overall, pretty disappointing experience. I really want to like this plaza, but to be honest, Sno-crave was mediocre, I dislike Bambu's overly sweet drinks and 85C is starting to bore me with their breads, which do not seem as good as I remember them in Taiwan. We'll see how Marina Fresh is...

What to do when steak (or other meats) are served cold?

well, if i asked for medium rare and after i sent it back for heating, it came back well-done, i'd send it back again. and then cross that place off my list. it can't be too hard to get meats right - i can do it at home on my weber with consistency and i'm no genius.

Alan Wong for kids...

ummmm, enough said! i think we made the right choice.

Aug 08, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii

Recs in Bend?

haha. i read your post and was like "I must be losing it... when did i post this and when did i become foodseeker." we are heading to Bend as well next week and also have a 6 and 3 yo that i would charatcterize as pretty well behaved. look forward to the replies!

Alan Wong for kids...

We ended up cancelling :( the kids love the water and not knowing whether it would be safe to do so would've really taken away from the vacation. Next year! For now, we're rebooking for Bend, Oregon and trying it for the first time.

Aug 08, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii

other 1 pan dinner ideas?

definitely... this sounds awesome.

Aug 08, 2014
FattyDumplin in Home Cooking

Alan Wong for kids...

How bad do you think the Waikiki beaches might get sat / sun?

Sorry, I know a bit off topic...

Aug 07, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

If you're scrapping to live day to day, I doubt you take or have the time to make fresh dough and sauce, even every couple days. And it's probably not cheaper than cup o noodles.

In some respects, this is akin to the eat to live vs live to eat debate...

Alan Wong for kids...

Good idea. Hopefully the hotel will be stocked, as of right now, they say all is ok.

Aug 07, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

yeah, but 10 dollars isn't enough incrementally that how i eat changes what i donate, if that makes any sense? Every year, I have a set amount that i decide to contribute via church, charities, etc., and even if i cut back on what i bought, that wouldn't really change what i donated.

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

I look at it a bit differently... I'm realize i'm lucky to be able to pay extra to let my kids eat fresher produce from the local farmer's market, organic meats, wild king salmon, etc. i'm not going to not do that or feel guilty about it just because there are others in the world who can't. But, the one thing my kids know is they are not allowed to waste. they ask for something, they are going to eat it. no excuses. i grew up in a home where my parents scrapped for everything and i knew it wasn't right to waste - although we're in a better position today, my kids better grow up realizing that as well and understand how fortunate they are.

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

Two things struck me on this, both relating to some of the criticism I see on Chowhound and elsewhere about other people's shopping choices. I wake up every day knowing that I am incredibly fortunate, to be able to buy fresh fruits, fish, meat, veggies at the farmer's market and pay reasonably high prices to do so. Reading this just makes me appreciate this again and want to find a way to help more...

1) it's incredible how expensive it is eat a balanced meal. I saw this with my aunt's family, when she lost her job. They went from having a fridge that was stocked with fruits, vegetables and steaks that their kids could eat any time to a pantry stocked with (as we see in the picture above), cup of noodles... and my cousins would talk about eating 2 or 3 for dinner at night and nothing else.

2) it never occurred to me that some people literally don't have stoves / fridges. and so the lady's explanation that she has to buy non-perishables really struck me.

I get it, it's in our nature to look at others and judge their actions, and wonder why they're buying junk food and not healthier stuff, but i know for me, going forward, i'll be a lot slower in judging after reading this article.

Alan Wong for kids...

cool. i'll take a look. have a few more meals to fill in, so always helpful.

my kids love asian food (japanese) in particular, so not too worried. we're chinese so been eating 90% asisn since day 1 and my 6 yo is one of those sashimi freaks... that said, i struggled with alan wong, bc the price point was so high and it was a bit too high end i think for my kids to get, so glad the decision was made for me.

Aug 06, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii

Alan Wong for kids...

finger's crossed!

As for Alan Wong, its quite popular! They are fully booked, seemingly for all of August, but did get reservations for Izakaya Gaku and Pig & Lady, both of which seem like pretty good food.

Aug 05, 2014
FattyDumplin in Hawaii